• Kyodo

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Chiba police have arrested a 24-year-old man from Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, on suspicion of selling clothing with fake autographs from members of a pop group on an online auction site.

Kazuya Takahashi, who was arrested Tuesday, allegedly put up the clothing — bathing suits and short pants — after forging the autographs himself. He claimed they were signed by members of NMB48, a girl pop group based in Osaka, according to the police.

He reportedly received about ¥210,000 in total from a 59-year-old man in Saitama Prefecture and a 59-year-old man in Yamaguchi Prefecture, who both made successful bids.

Takahashi reportedly owned up to the wrongdoing, saying he wanted to earn money to buy clothes and tickets for an event so he could shake hands with idol group members.

Investigators said an explanation on the auction site claimed the clothing had been autographed and worn by members of NMB48.

The police believe he has obtained about ¥2.5 million since last October by auctioning about 180 clothing items online.

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